Key Questions Regarding the L-1A Visa

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The L-1A is a great visa option for individuals seeking to temporarily work in the US in a managerial or executive role. For example, a scenario where an L-1A might be appropriate could be if a marketing manager at a corporation’s headquarters based in Paris seeks to come to the US in order to manage a recently opened marketing division at the company’s New York branch.

Examining the questions below can help determine whether an L-1A visa is an appropriate visa option to explore for your situation.

Were you employed for at least 1 year by a company abroad that has a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary in the U.S.?

In order to qualify for an L-1A, you must have been employed abroad continuously for one year out of the past three years by a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of the U.S. petitioning company. The one-year of continuous qualifying employment must have occurred within a three year look-back period prior to entering the U.S. and must have taken place outside of the U.S.

Does your employer have a qualifying relationship with the petitioning U.S. Company?

As mentioned above, the 1 year of qualifying employment must have been for a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of the U.S. petitioning company. It is important to know that both the U.S. and foreign company must be engaged in ongoing business activity during the entire duration of the L-1A visa. Doing business requires evidence of day-to-day activity, not just registration of a business or office or presence of an agent. It is also worth mentioning that the entity you are seeking to transfer to need not have been open during the one year of qualifying employment.

Will you have “qualifying employment” for the petitioning U.S. Company?

Your qualifying employment abroad must have been in a managerial or executive capacity. Likewise, your intended employment for the petitioning US organization must be in a similar managerial or executive capacity.

Employment in a Managerial Capacity includes an assignment with an organization in which the employee primarily: manages the organization, department, subdivision, function or component; supervises and controls the work of other professional or managerial employees or manages an essential function within the organization; has authority over personnel actions; and exercises discretion over day-to-day operations.

Employment in a Executive Capacity includes an assignment with an organization in which the employee primarily: directs the management of the organization or a major component or function; establishes goals and policies; exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision making; and receives only general supervision or direction from higher level executives, board of directors or stockholders.

For more information about the L-1A Visa or immigration in general, please contact the award-winning Lightman Law Firm of New York at one of the following: 212-643-0985; email us; or submit a contact form.

Lightman Law Firm was recently honored as New York’s 2015 Immigration Law Firm of the Year by Acquisition International. Additionally, founding attorney, Douglas Lightman, was named a “Rising Star” by Lightman Law Firm also carries a 4.9 rating on Google Reviews.

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